Beit Iba, Thu 3.7.08, Afternoon
14.29 A border policeman sits on a chair outside the house at Shvut Ami where the settlers usually are and watches the road.
14.45 At Beit Iba it is very hot. A year ago in the framework of the changes which the army made to improve the
way the checkpoint looked had been a big plastic container to which had been added a tap. Today it is so hot and this installation is a mess. About 100 people are in the shed and 30 waiting outside. A redfaced military policewoman inspects the humanitarian line and every few minutes shouts "Only girls" . She hurries the women with shouts of yallah yallah and the movements of her hand remind one of the shepherd with sheep. From the elderly men she grabs the ID and passes them on to the soldier behind her.
15.00 Since we arrived at the checkpoint a young veiled woman stands next to the benches and now the soldier remembers that she is there and calls the military policewoman to go with her to the isolation. He stands outside to guard. The policewoman enters and bangs the door.
The woman soldier checking the men leaving Nablus points out the sign to us that Machsomwatch supports the terrorists. She shouts and puts the sign on the window. She shouts to her redfaced friend "There is a cockroach here. Send it away." After that she goes back to work. She only lets one man at a time into the turnstile and shouts at him to come and when they are not fast enough for her she scolds them. She is chewing gum and her face shows her boredom as she checks goods and IDs. When the x-ray device squeaks she orders him to take off his belt and sometimes his shoes or to lift the bottom of his pants.
A soldier sends back a man of about 70 who is accompanied by a mentally retarded boy because they got into the wrong line even though it is empty. He insists he goes to the other turnstile which leads exactly to the same place because those are the rules.
The soldiers check so carefully that they even page through the exercise books of the students.
A boy of 13 wants to leave Nablus with his uncle who does not have his number in his ID and is told to come back
next time with his mother. A young couple have to get out of their car and the man is holding a new born baby.They have to go through the checkpoint on foot where they will be more carefully checked. They beg that it is too hot for the baby but the soldier is angry and shouts at them and so they go to the usual line. The soldier turns to his friends and they burst out laughing.
A young boy looks at the soldiers taking another woman to the isolation to be checked and his eyes show his hate. A father protects his children. A man calls the soldier apologetically that he forgot his parcel. A young boy asks me if he can phone his uncle who is in the line.
16.10 We leave as the Ecumenical volunteers arrived.